Bashkim Kadrii, a 25-year-old winger from Denmark of Albanian descent, has officially joined Minnesota United FC on a one-year loan from Danish top-division club FC Copenhagen, as the team announced Wednesday. He will be the fifth Scandinavia-area player on the roster.
Kadrii has been in Portland practicing with the Loons since Tuesday.
"It's new for me. Most of the guys here are new. So I'm excited to be here," Kadrii said Wednesday. "And I hope I can bring some good things to the team and bring the team up in the league."
Kadrii first joined Copenhagen in 2014 but an ACL knee injury limited his playing time substantially. He has also played for Denmark’s youth national teams and once for the senior side.
"He went for a lot money to Copenhagen, and he has an injury, then suddenly, they buy players in the meantime, and it's been a frustrating period for him," United coach Adrian Heath said. "But he wants to be here, and he's proven over the last few years in the top division ... that he's a quality player."
Heath said Kadrii adds depth to his team's attacking options, which is the "best motivational tool" for players to have competition for playing time. However, Heath said the Loons are "going to need each and every one" of those players throughout the long season, as many players might have to leave the squad for national team duties. Possible suspensions and injuries might also be a factor.
Kadrii, with stiff competition on the wings from the likes of Miguel Ibarra, Johan Venegas and Kevin Molino, said he is just looking forward to starting to play Heath's high-pressure style.
"I think it's a big opportunity to be here," Kadrii said. "It's a new thing for me, and I've just heard good things about it."